I’m going to ask a question that, after reading some recent headlines on the controversial, on-again couple, Chris Brown and Rihanna, has been on my mind.

You know, it was Tina Turner who first asked it when she musically wondered, “What’s love got to do with it…?”

And some are still wondering, especially since Rihanna escorted Brown to a court hearing where he was charged for failing to complete his community service for abusing Rihanna 4 years ago.

Now, I’m not saying Rihanna and Chris don’t love each other. In fact, they very well may. Still, my question remains: What does love really have to do with it?

Let me explain where I’m going with this. We often convince ourselves that relationships are all about love. And, on Valentine’s Day, we celebrate this type of romantic love.

However, if successful relationships were based only on romantic love, divorce rates would certainly not be as high as they are, right? In fact, a lot of divorced couples dislike each other and yet say they still love each other.

The point is there are a bunch of other very important factors in a relationship that determine its health and success; the emotional health of each partner, trust, respect, compatibility, to name a few.

And it’s often these other key aspects of a relationship that allow romantic love to flourish.

Yes, Rihanna and Chris likely do love each other, but given their checkered history together—and the fact they are living out their flaws and mistakes on a world stage—I sincerely hope they recognize the importance of these other aspects.

And while they have every right to want to move on and leave their past behind, without a healthy acknowledgement of their individual emotional wellness, trust and respect, in particular—their renewed relationship is not likely to survive, and worse, they might be doomed to repeat the ugly scenario of four years ago.

So on this Valentine’s Day, I’m not hating on Rihanna and Chris 2.0 at all, as many in the media are. Rather, I am sending them—and, for that matter, everyone out there in a relationship—love and hope, and the reminder that romantic love has to be fed and nurtured with these other important aspects.

Ask anyone who’s been married for years and they’ll probably tell you that romantic love often needs help and this is not a bad thing, because it’s all about working at and celebrating a relationship so it can truly grow.

I’ll close with these words from George Jean Nathan that speak to the importance of healthy loving relationships:

“Love is an emotion experienced by the many but enjoyed by the few.”  

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